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Giveaway: Veronica Rossi + Tahereh Mafi Into the Future Book Tour

Even on the day of the event, I had fully believed I would NOT be attending the Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky) and Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me) signing this past weekend on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Books and Books, Inc. in Coral Gables, Florida. But thanks to a last minute change of heart on the part of my dear husband, I was able to make the 6 hour drive from Tampa to the Miami area. Along the way, I met up with fellow bloggers, Sarah Nicolas (YA Rebels) and Sarah (The Book Life) and her two fabulous friends. We had such a blast! I must say, if you ever have the chance to see these two authors together during the Into the Future Book Tour, DO NOT PASS UP THE OPPORTUNITY. They are a riot and two seriously awesome ladies.

GIVEAWAY ALERT! I picked up an extra autographed copy of each author’s book, plus some Shatter Me swag to give away here on Making the Grade! (Check out the photo of the items to the left.) One lucky winner will receive this Into the Future Prize Pack; which includes both signed books, plus the Shatter Me key chain also pictured!

Click here to enter this giveaway.

A few fun facts about Veronica Rossi and Tahereh Mafi:

  • For one thing, these two ladies have been touring for so long now this year, that they officially refer to each other as a “married couple”. If all marriages were as good as theirs, this would be a happy world indeed (and full of laughter, too!)
  • If you didn’t know already, Veronica Rossi’s second book in her series is titled Through the Ever Night. Tahereh Mafi’s next book is titled Unravel Me.
  • Shatter Me was originally titled Touching Juliette. Which brought up such questions as: “Who is touching Juliette?”, “Where are they touching her?” and “Does Juliette want to be touched?” The change to Shatter Me was probably a wise decision…
  • Tahereh Mafi has the best fashion sense EVER. From her Kate Spade typewriter purse to her super stylish yellow wedged sneaks (wish I had gotten a ph0to of those!)… I need her advice to help me fill my closet!
  • A certain bird tattoo in Shatter Me is awkwardly inspired by an identical tattoo on Tahereh’s brother. (Shower scene not included.)

Watch a video of Tahereh Mafi describing her book, Shatter Me:


Enter Now to Win an Into the Future Prize Pack!

One winner will receive a signed copy of Under the Never Sky & Shatter Me, + swag.
Open to US residents aged 13 and older only.
Giveaway ends at midnight on Friday, May 18, 2012.


ARTICLE 5 Book Launch Party & Signed Book Giveaway

Article 5
By Kristen Simmons
Released January 31, 2012
Tor Teen
Author Website
Hardcover | Kindle

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned. The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes. There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don’t come back. Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different. Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

I had the honor of meeting debut author of ARTICLE 5, Kristen Simmons, at her very first book launch party. The party took place at Inkwood Books right here in Tampa Bay, Florida last night (Feb. 2, 2012). Imagine the glee I felt when I discovered that this up-and-coming author was a local! Of course I HAD to go! Like many other authors I have met in recent years, Kristen is so sweet and personable and so much fun to talk with. I could tell that she had been waiting for this moment for quite some time and I was so happy that we could share the celebration of her debut with her.

Kristen Simmons and Tor Teen have graciously donated not one but two autographed copies of Article 5 to Making the Grade to give away! Two grand prize winners will each receive a signed book and a signed post card, and three more winners will each receive a signed post card. To enter, simply fill out the form that is linked at the very bottom of this post.

The Top 5 Things I Will Always Remember
About the Article 5 Book Launch Party:

1. Taking a “Bite” Out of Article 5 (The Cookies)

Using the theme of 5’s (I wonder if that’s her lucky number?), Kristen gave attendees super-duper yummy sugar cookies decorated with the number 5, as well as packs of (Article) 5 gum.

I can’t help but think that the number 5 MUST be Kristen’s lucky number, since she revealed to us at the party that it took her 4 failed book attempts in 7 years to reach her “lucky number 5” book (which turned out to be Article 5). This lucky story would take her to where she is today: as a published author at her very first book launch party. 😉

2. Meeting New People: Blogger Love!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful people that one can meet at events such as this. Author events tend to bring together the most passionate people who really and truly do love the books that they read. If only I could, I would love to meet all my fellow bloggers! In attendance, was fellow blogger, Sarah of The Book Life, whom I had met earlier on Twitter because we both were planning to attend the launch party.  She came all the way to Tampa with her friend Olivia from the Daytona Beach area. In addition were numerous other Florida bloggers, as well as another debut author, Jess (J.A.) Souders.  I’m sure there are going to be many occasions that we will all have the chance to meet again. 🙂 Check out the picture of me and Sarah (that’s me on the left!)

3. Kristen Has an AMAZING Support Team

In attendance at the event was Kristen’s husband, her highly supportive mother, her in-laws and other extended family and friends, many of which had traveled long distances just to be there for her. She spent a good deal of time talking about them and thanking them for being her support team. You can tell that she is surrounded by many people who love her and are proud of this momentous occasion. She and her mother were kind enough to pose together for me to take a photo!
Don’t they look fantastic? 😉

4. Book Agents Are Pretty Amazing, too!

Kristen’s agent, Joanna MacKenzie, had flown all the way from Chicago to support her during the event. Much love was shared between the two, hugs were in order and kind words were said by both. Kristen even had a gift for Joanna, which was given to her after both women were near tears. It just goes to show what good, close relationships you can make, even if the initial reason you are together is because of “business”. These two obviously share a very close relationship and I, for one, am grateful to Joanna for noticing Kristen’s talent.

5. Attending a Launch Party Means Great Insider Information!

Kristen had plenty to share with the audience at the event. We got to take part in a raffle for great prizes. We saw Kristen’s “Fail” file, containing approximately 200 rejection letters she had received before finding Joanna (whose glorious acceptance  letter is framed in Kristen’s home). We learned how Article 5 came to fruition, and we discovered that Kristen did not know that she was creating a dystopian novel as she was writing the story. In fact, she had thought that she was writing a romance.

So, there you have it, if you didn’t know it already, now you do: there is plenty of romance to be had in this book (and plenty of kissing, too!) She told us that she is currently in the middle of writing book three. Then, after lots of “delaying” and claiming of first-time jitters, 😉 Kristen beautifully read a section of chapter one from Article 5 for us. I always feel to honored to hear an author read a part of there work for us. You can see some of Kristen’s reading in the video located below. Finally, Kristen revealed a few tidbits about book two, which is slated for a January 2012 release date. In book two you can expect a “return to Chicago, fist fights, lots of kissing and a “daring rescue”!

Watch Kristen read from chapter 1 of Article 5:


Enter Now to Win a Signed Copy of Article 5!

You must fill out this form to enter.

Two winners will receive  a signed book and post card.
Three runner-up winners will receive a signed post card.
Open to US residents aged 13 and older only.
Giveaway ends at midnight on Friday, February 24, 2012.

(The books and post cards are all signed by the author, Kristen Simmons.)